An Illinois mother was denied the COVID-19 vaccine because she is breastfeeding.
Kate Raess says she was “shocked” to find out she couldn’t receive a Moderna coronavirus vaccine despite her consulting with her doctor and doing her own research. “I was so shocked,” Raess told the Chicago Tribune. “To sit down in that metal chair and be told no, it’s like someone took a pin to a little kid’s balloon.” Raess is a clinical therapist and the mother of two; she went to Kane County Health Department for a vaccination appointment.
Because the policy against breastfeeding and pregnant women has changed, Susan Stack, a spokesperson for the Kane County Health Department, declined to comment. Fox News reports that pregnant women and breastfeeding women are now allowed to get the shot.
“Upon consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and with the guidance of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and Centers for Disease Control, which state that pregnant and lactating people may choose to receive COVID vaccines, KCHD is providing vaccines to pregnant and lactating women who choose to be vaccinated,” reads a statement provided to Fox News.
Raess told the Chicago Tribune that “this internalized sense of shame and judgment — that a county board felt that I couldn’t make this decision, and they would make it for me.” Now that the policy has been changed, Raess says she has set another appointment to receive the vaccination.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) amended its guidance on pregnant women getting the vaccine. “We don’t have any specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women,” the WHO said. Dr. Anthony Fauci told the American Medical Association there were “no red flags” in the trials of more than 10,000 pregnant women who were given the COVID-19 vaccine “thus far,” reports Fox News.